02 Apr, 2015 Last updated: 02 Apr, 2015

VicHealth today announced a new partnership with Surfing Victoria that will see the H30 Challenge campaign as the designated official hydration partner at the RipCurl Pro Bells Beach this Easter weekend.

The H30 Challenge encourages people to make a simple 30-day pledge to replace every sugary drink they would normally drink, with water. Sugary drinks include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, ready-to-drink iced tea, flavoured water and cordial.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter congratulated Surfing Victoria for taking a leadership role and making the switch, saying their support for VicHealth’s H30 Challenge campaign would inspire surfing fans to make the switch to water.

"We are excited to be the official hydration partner for Surfing Victoria this Easter providing hydration for surfing fans.

"VicHealth is committed to tackling the tough issues – in particular the rising obesity levels in Victoria. The H30 Challenge is essential to reducing Victorians’ intake of excess kilojoules through sugary drinks, while our Walk to School campaign is a great initiative to get children moving and our free TeamUp app connects adults and groups to a wide range of physical activities within their local community."

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of sugars in the Australian diet and high intake of these sugary drinks are associated with poorer health outcomes, such as increased risk of weight gain and increased risk of tooth decay.

As part of the partnership, spectators at the iconic event will be encouraged to make the switch to water through a number of initiatives including the distribution of free reusable bottles at the surfing festival to encourage fans to drink water instead of sugary beverages.

Surfing Victoria CEO Max Wells said: "It is vitally important for the surfers and spectators to hydrate correctly and the best way to do that is to choose water instead of sugary alternatives.

"We encourage surfing fans to join us in making the switch to water by ditching sugary drinks. Sign up for the 30-day challenge and make the pledge today."

How to H30

  1. Sign up at www.h30challenge.com.au
  2. Choose a start date that is convenient for you
  3. Switch sugary drinks for water for 30 days and reap the rewards
  4. You'll receive regular emails to keep you motivated along the way!

Media Contact: Helen Walsh, Senior Media Advisor, 03 9667 1319 or 0435 761 732 or email [email protected].